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Security: AccessEnforcer, Windows Ransomware Does Major Damage, Spammers Send Junk Mail to Thousands of Printers, Google Cleanup and More

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  • VLANs and More Added to AccessEnforcer UTM Firewall

    AccessEnforcer Version 4.1 also updates firewall's operating system to OpenBSD 6.3. OpenBSD is one of the most secure operating systems in the world. Version 6.3 provides additional mitigations against the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities and also mitigates against return-oriented programming and other memory corruption attacks. 

  • Norwegian aluminium firm slowly recovering from ransomware attack

     

    Norwegian aluminium maker Norsk Hydro says it has made some progress restoring its systems back to normal after being hit by Windows ransomware known as LockerGoGa on Monday evening.  

  • Spammers Send Junk Mail to Thousands of Printers

    Spam has been with us since the very first days of email, but a Russian marketing agency recently took things a stage further by sending good old-fashioned paper-based junk mail over the internet.

    The company claims to have advertised a graphic design course for its client Skillbox using a software bot that searched for online printers. It printed a one-page promotion on every device it found, directing them to a website boasting about its exploits.

    The website for the company's marketing campaign, which I am deliberately not linking to here, explains that "by the 2024", it is "94% likely" that bots will replace accountants, auditors, and financial analysts by the million. Consequently, it says, accountants (or anyone else worried about being replaced by AI) should learn graphic design instead. The stats come from a five-year-old Oxford Martin School report, but that needn't concern us here.

    What's more interesting is another statistic: 600,000. That’s how many printers the marketing agency claim to have clogged up with advertising, according to this report from Graham Cluley.

    [...]

    It wouldn't be the first time that someone had spammed printers online. In December, a hacker calling himself TheHackerGiraffe spammed 50,000 printers promoting popular YouTube celebrity PewDiePie. Other incidents have been much darker. Nazi nerd Andrew Aurenheimer, a.k.a. Weev, sent white supremacist messages to every printer in North America that he could find instead of using Shodan, he used Masscan, which is a mass IP port scanner. 

  • Android clampdown on calls and texts access trashes bunch of apps

    Android looks a little less open now that Google has begun to enforce draconian new rules on accessing a phone's call and text logs.

    Developers have been forced to remove features or in some cases change the fundamental nature of the application. One example is BlackBerry's Hub, an email client which also aggregated notifications from a variety of apps and presented them chronologically in a timeline. This application has lost its ability to includes calls and texts in that timeline.

    Exceptions created by Google don't seem to be honoured, developers complained. One said that an enterprise archiving app – a category specifically exempt from the clampdown – has been broken.

    Another developer, Miroslav Novosvetsky of MobileSoft, rued that he might have to withdraw his Callistics usage monitor app altogether.

  • The martian packet case in our Neutron floating IP setup

    A community member opened a bug the other day related to a weird networking behavior in the Cloud VPS service, offered by the Cloud Services team at Wikimedia Foundation. This VPS hosting service is based on Openstack, and we implement the networking bits by means of Neutron.

    Our current setup is based on Openstack Mitaka (old, I know) and the networking architecture we use is extensively described in our docs. What is interesting today is our floating IP setup, which Neutron uses by means of the Netfilter NAT engine.

    Neutron creates a couple of NAT rules for each floating IP, to implement both SNAT and DNAT. In our setup, if a VM uses a floating IP, then all its traffic to and from The Internet will use this floating IP. In our case, the floating IP range is made of public IPv4 addresses.

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